Leadership in South Korea High School
Yuxuan Bian (Eileen)
October 4, 2018
Leadership in South Korea High School
With the global economic development and social progress, people have paid more attention to the education issue. At the same time, the school leadership is the important key to ensuring the quality of education. Based on different countries’ cultures and situations, every state has the variety of understanding and performance about the content, definitions, and responsibilities of leadership. In recent years, South Korea in Asia is one of the countries which has the most outstanding educational achievements. In 1945, South Korea’s literacy rate was only 22%. However, 60% of the students choose to continue to go to university now (Cho, 2012). This vast change showed that how success in this country’s high schools and symbolized the results of leadership reform in South Korea.
Confucianism ; Transformational Leadership
South Korea students are willing to continue to go to university because their country has chosen to educate students through a transformative leadership style that has increased the interest and enthusiasm for continuous learning. The definition of transformational leadership refers to the importance of leadership, through charisma, common goals and individualized guidance, to make employees aware of the importance of their responsibilities and to motivate their potential and level (Kirby et al., 1992). This type of leadership mode is closely related to their culture because South Korea’s high school education system uses Confucianism (Kim, 2019). The core of Confucianism is taught sharing, patient guidance, encourage, and set goals. According to Confucian culture, high school leaders in South Korea use different methods to educate students and deal with their different situations. They will not scold or give up students because of their unsatisfactory performance. On the contrary, teachers will use soft language to inspire them so that stimulate their potential and let them trust themselves. It can be seen from the educational methods of South Korean high school that it is consistent with the model of transformative leadership. Therefore, South Korea high schools are well suited for transformational leadership. Leaders and students work together to achieve the goal, that is also why South Korea high school is successful.Principal & Transformational Leadership
The principal’s leadership style influences the quality of the teacher’s teaching and the student’s performance. In the high school of South Korea, the principal not only needs to have teaching experience but also selected by the examinations and performance assessment. It means that the principal has the charisma of leadership and is more appealing to teachers. It also enables teachers to believe in their abilities, to give teachers a sense of belonging and to be willing to follow themselves. At the same time, the principal will often meet with the teachers to discuss the problems in the teaching process. In another word, the principal regularly communicates with teachers, share responsibility with them and let the teachers realize the importance of the task undertaken so that they can participate more in the education program and it is easy to establish the common goals with the teacher. Moreover, let the teacher know that the teacher is not just a profession, but a person who plays a different important role and contributes more to the education field. Therefore, South Korea high schools choose to use transformational leadership.
Teachers ; Transformational Leadership
Teacher in South Korea is a very respected profession. It means that South Korea education is very rigorous, and also shows the authority of the teacher so that it can make more accessible for students to believe and obey the teachers. Moreover, teachers often organize group activities during the teaching period to activate the classroom atmosphere, stimulate students’ interest in learning, and enable students to participate more in the classroom. At the same time, the teacher encourages students to answer questions and let students feel confident about themselves actively. Based on these, students will be more willing to follow the teacher’s guidance, thus reducing the rebellious psychology and make students not only the recipients of knowledge but also the collaborators with teachers in the learning process. Besides, in the high school period, students will face the university entrance exam, and this examination determines the future development level of the students so that for high school teachers are more likely to establish common goals with students to help students achieve their ideals. Therefore, it is easier to achieve transformational leadership in high schools in South Korea.
The leadership model has a profound impact on the success of education. In the South Korea high school education system, transformational leaders connect students, teachers, and principals closely so that they can set common goals and work together to achieve them. It makes students not only the ultimate beneficiaries but also the partner. School leaders will make plans based on the needs of students so that students can participate more actively in the curriculum and follow the teacher more voluntarily. At the same time, the teacher is not only a profession, but also a contributor, and can share responsibility with the principal to provide better service and teaching for the students.
Cho, Y. D. (2012). Staying on top in internationally benchmarked tests: South Korea’s
secrets shared. Office of Education Research. Portraits of Top-performing Education Systems. Singapore: NIE/NTU.
Kim, T. (2009). Confucianism, Modernities and Knowledge: China, South Korea and
Japan. In International handbook of comparative education (pp. 857-872). Springer, Dordrecht.
Kirby, P. C., Paradise, L. V., & King, M. I. (1992). Extraordinary leaders in education:
Understanding transformational leadership. The Journal of educational research, 85(5), 303-311.